Interview: Sonia Leigh

She is always in black, almost always in shades, she is old school cool, sexy, sassy and oozes that rock and roll chic long sucked out the business to make music by the lowest common denominator.  Sonia Leigh is the hoarse voice siren that is single handed sticking to the man one arse kicker of a song at a time.  Tough country, she takes no prisoners, she’ll rock you to your socks and on top of that she really digs fresh lemonade!

You seem to be the UK’s go to American right now? You’re always in the UK?  The UK is a great audience for you?  Would you move here?
The fact you called me the “go to American” makes me proud of the work I have done here. What surprised me is the amount of opportunities and help that have been offered. The fans are the greatest, they sing along, they high five me, and they continue to spread the word. I love being in the UK. I have found a community of wonderful friends, fans, and musicians here. I feel I have developed an extended family. I am so humbled by the support and loyalty amongst the community. All of this is a dream come true to me. I started here just a stranger in town. Now when I around out at the audience and see how far I’ve come, it brings me so much joy and a tear to my eye. I would definitely move here. It’s always been something I have aspired to do.

How’s the reception different in the US?
My fans in the US are a lot like my fans here in the UK. They are the best and support me sooooo much. They are loyal, helpful, and keep me going. I have a street team called the Fam O’ Leigh and I encourage everyone to join because it’s nice to see people connecting through my music.  The fans in the UK have proven to have just as much loyalty and passion. It just the best feeling ever! I love it!

So you play Country gigs and Americana Festivals when you’re here? Which are you? You the missing link?
I love to play and write all music. Being an independent artist I am free to play a pop song, country, rock, or hip hop. I think that’s how it should be, music is not meant to be a controlled art. I let my art be what ever it is. That keeps me happy and inspired.

You do a lot of singles, is that a reflection of where music is right now?
I think there seems to be a focus on singles right now in music land, however nothing will ever replace the story in the exhibition of a full length album.

Will you do a ‘proper’ album? 
I have been co producing a record and it will be out hopefully by the fall.

Your music is rough tough country, you strike me you want to put a bit of rock n’roll back?
This new record will show everyone a multi dimensional Sonia Leigh.  It has a little of everything to it.

One of my favorite songs has the line “flip flop feet”, you like that one?   
I wrote Put It In Your Pocket with my good friend Bobby Huff who also did a hell of a job producing that track. I am extremely proud of that song. It went to SXMTheHighway in America and charted top 20. That is a big feat for an independent artist like myself. I also released it in the UK and It was featured on YOUR program (thank you by the way)  Whispering Bob Harris, and made it’s way to BBC radio 2 Scotland. Not too shabby for little ole me.  a little fact: It was pouring down rain and storming like a mad man the day we wrote that song.

How do you know when you’ve got a gem like that?
I listened to it 7000 times the first day. I could not freaking wait to share it with everyone that I knew. When you know you know. My attorney and long time pal Jim Zumwalt suggested I write a summertime jam and I promised him one. He put me and Bobby Huff together and it was magic! That one is one of my favorites! It’s so fun to play and it just has such a feel good vibe to it!

So what’s next?
I wanna get another single out,  release this new record, and I hope to come back and tour the UK in October and November. I have a lot of things in the works. I want to say thank you to you and everyone here who have been so kind and supportive. You have made my dream possible and even better than I imagined it would be. If I could hug everyone at the same time I would just wrap you in my arms and squeeze ya tight.

Author: Rudie Hayes

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

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